Ferndale Glo nightclub files lawsuit against city

In Ferndale, the city council voted to shut down the Glo night club after complaints from neighbors and police. 

But now, the owners are saying that the move by the city was discrimination and they're suing.

The owner of club Glo wants his liqueur license restored and damages as well saying the city and state are treating the business unfairly.

"It strikes me as odd for a business that has no specific violations to be treated in this particular fashion," said attorney Todd Perkins.
Club Glo's owners are suing the city of Ferndale, its police department and the Michigan Liquor Control Commission for allegedly violating the club's Constitutional rights. 

"The freedom to run a business, to a run a business in a legal fashion," Perkins said.

The state yanked the club's liquor license in late March because its owners did not show up for the hearing. But Perkins says there was one problem.

"Our client had absolutely no notice of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission event," he said. "So had no opportunity to defend in that matter."   

The city of Ferndale has had a beef with the club Glo since it opened last fall, fielding complaint after complaint of noise, drunken outbursts and violence.

"There is a concern of safety down there," said city council member Mike Lennon. "Not only for other patrons of the glo for our residents first and foremost but for our police officers.

He says police had been to club Glo 33 times since it opened, including on March 17. That was when one club goer was stabbed on St. Patrick's Day.

Police Chief Tim Collins stated publicly it happened inside club Glo. 

"They've been provided video tape which shows that we don't see those events occurring," Perkins said. "In fact they've made attempts to retract those statements."

"Many of these allegations are in the public domain," Collins said. "And we certainly aren't backing off of any comments we've made in the past."

The lawsuit claims those comments and other actions by police and city leaders gave club Glo a bad rap. Because the club's owner is black, Perkins claims there is a connection.

"Is it because of who they are," Perkins said. "That they've come after them in this particular fashion that you see elected officials act in a what I would call an unprofessional manner. 

"To almost incite a riot, to indicate that these people are going to run you out of town with pitchforks."

Lennon disagrees.

"That's not the issue," he said. "This is a very, very diverse community, and we don't play that card."

The Mayor of Ferndale was advised not to comment on this case pending litigation. The owner of club Glo will have her day in court next week.

The judge could decide to open the club temporarily, after that, the owner will have another date with the state's liquor control commission later this month. 

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